Drivers' go-to store with 700 locations to close shop permanently after summer – is your local affected? | The Sun

A MAJOR retailer with 700 locations is set to close a store later this year.

Halfords is pulling down the shutters on its branch in Stroud, Gloucestershire, in October.

However, the business has not confirmed a specific closure date.

A Halfords spokesperson said: “We can confirm the Halfords store in Five Valleys Shopping Centre, Stroud is due to close and staff are aware of the closure. 

“Customers will still be able to purchase from

“We are working hard to support all of those affected."

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Halfords has already closed two branches this year, with a spokesperson saying in February it "regularly reviewed"its portfolio.

It comes after the retailer said its profitability had been knocked by "weakness" in the consumer tyre market.

The go-to store for drivers blamed a shortage of technicians and weak demand for tyres for falling shares.

In July 2020, Halford earmarked 60 stores and garages for closure following a hit in its sales due to coronavirus.

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At the time, it operated over 445 stores as well as more than 370 garages in the UK.

The retailer currently runs over 400 shops and around 300 garages.

Why are retailers closing branches?

The European retail sector has been in crisis since the 2008 financial crash.

One of the most famous retailers to fall victim to the crash was high street stalwart Woolworths.

A number of high street retailers have been bearing the brunt of an increase in online shopping in recent years as well, made worse during the coronavirus pandemic.

The online share of retailing was 6.6% in 2006, while in 2013 it was 12.7% and rose to 19.2% in 2019, according to the Centre for Retail Research.

High inflation since 2022 means shoppers have been less inclined to spend their hard-earned cash too.

It has led to a number of high profile retailers including Argos and Iceland closing stores in recent months.

Some have collapsed into administration too, including Paperchase, Wilko and M&Co.

M&Co has since re-launched as an online website.

Not all retailers have just been closing stores though – some are opening branches, or already have, in 2023.

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Poundland is pulling up the shutters for the first time on 15 new stores.

Meanwhile, B&M is opening more than a dozen new branches across the UK by the end of the year.

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